You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘portrait paintings’ tag.

Betteles in art?

Ive recently been finding out about an interesting Americal artist who uses them to help him paint on the canvas. And yes, they are … ALIVE!!!!

Kutcher controls the direction and movement of his arthropods — such as hissing cockroaches  darkling beetles and grasshoppers — by their response to external lighting. The result is controlled and random movements, created in a co-authorship between the artist — with predetermined ideas about colour, form, shape and creative flexibility — and his living brushes!?!

see here for some more details!


I was drawn into a discussion today about Redbull, where I suggested that it was more of a marketing concepty that actually a product…

so, that started me thinking about Red Bull related ART!

First thing to note, is that red bull is an incredibly innovative company and as part of their brand-building they actually sponsor art projects.

One fun project they are currently running is “red bull art of can”.

Here artists must make a picture or sculpture or piece of modern art, using mainly a red bull can!!! Crazy but exciting, and a fantastic opportunity for promotion by new young cutting edge artists.


See here for an image of a dragon made from a red bull can!!

Also see here for a you tube video of a drumming sequence using red bull, also done by independent artists, not red bull staff.

And here is a Flikr set of Red bull  ‘art of the can” series…

Have a great day.

Please take time to have a read about PortraitXpress artists…  if you need to order a personalised painting as a gift to arrive with you by Christmas day, you need to order it in the next few days to allow time for the paint to dry and the artwork to be shipped!

this is a post I have meaning to write for a long time. Its involves art…. and an animal!

Death in the mind of someone living” the shark art-piece by Damien Hirst.

How do we interpret this? One concept is, if you bend down and peer through its sharply jagged teeth, you’ll be looking past the pure white mouth at the large black hole of its throat. It’s a reasonable visual metaphor for the crossing-over from life to death that we think will never happen.

Also, the viewers imagination is focused on the pickled sharks jaws; the jaws of death stopped in motion, suspended in time. So the shark can’t attack you, its been suspended in time… so your death is not coming now, it will come later…

If you have other interpretations, let me know here!!

So is that what art always is, a visual metaphor? Yes, in a way. Although sometimes art is just for art’s sake and there is no need for any metaphorology.

To be honest, my idea of art involves freshness and a concept of something seeming alive, and I see art in nature and animals, so Im not hugely keen on the idea of animals in formaldehyde as some kind of art.

However, Damien Hirst is certainly very innovative so I repect that, and by shocking the public he helps create debate about art and other interesting subjects, which has to be good.

This shark pictured below is given the title:”death in the mind of someone living”.

Apart from the crazy price this fetched, one interesting point is that actually its not the same shark as in the original art. When asked is this is an issue, the artist said:

“”It’s a big dilemma. Artists and conservators have different opinions about what’s important: the original artwork or the original intention. I come from a conceptual art background, so I think it should be the intention. It’s the same piece. But the jury will be out for a long time to come.”

I guess I agree with him, but what are your views?!


the artist, above, with the artwork titled.





To provide a bit of balance after my Obama pop-art pictures, here are some of John McCain- I must play fair after all! Down the bottom is a statement by McCain’s team on his stance on the Arts.

To see the Obama art, click here to see my previous post!

To give credit where credit is due, these are from and not by my artists in any shape or form.

“John McCain believes that arts education can play a vital role fostering creativity and expression. He is a strong believer in empowering local school districts to establish priorities based on the needs of local schools and school districts. Schools receiving federal funds for education must be held accountable for providing a quality education in basic subjects critical to ensuring students are prepared to compete and succeed in the global economy. Where these local priorities allow, he believes investing in arts education can play a role in nurturing the creativity of expression so vital to the health of our cultural life and providing a means of creative expression for young people.”

Finally here’s a photo- as the above pop art images are a bit boring in my view, here at least is a fairly good photo. Click here for my previous poston why I prefer paintings/sketches to photos. My artists (see them in the “important links”) can paint photos 100% by hand from any photo in any style.

The Sovereign Art prize winner for Europe was announced a couple of days ago, it was won by Nadia Hebson.

Hebson makes several specific types of art work, most recently: intense, romantic and darkly atmospheric seascapes and shipwrecks. She also does some portraits…. see below!!

Born in 1974 in Romsey, UK, Hebson studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and The Royal Academy of Arts, both in London. Currently the Artist in Residence at Durham Cathedral, she was also awarded a Derek Hill Foundation Scholarship earlier this year and spent three months studying at The British School at Rome. Hebson has exhibited internationally and was selected for this year’s Jerwood Contemporary Painters exhibition. She has previously been the recipient of an Arts Council Award and Duveen Woman Artist Award. For the last four years, she has lived and worked in Berlin where her love of middle European writers has developed.

Hebson commented:”I am absolutely ecstatic to be awarded the Sovereign European Art Prize, especially by such a distinguished panel of judges, whom I can’t thank enough. My painting of a shipwreck does appear quite prescient in the light of recent events! However I was genuinely surprised to hear that I had won with such a dark and romantic image. This award is, for me, the icing on the cake in a year of unprecedented experiences and I would like to thank all those who have supported me in getting this far. “

shipwreck- the winning painting

Valser- the winning painting




Th winning picture is very gloomy and melancholic, her main inspirations are mostly art historical.

See here for nadia’s website. I personally prefer her portraits, but perhaps I would given that I run a bespoke portrait painting business.!

See here for my previous post about the sovereign art prize.

well, today I thought about blogging about artists using blood (there is a crazy artist who makes self portraits out of his own blood) but its so distasteful, that you can go and read about that yourself if you like. I thought about blood …given that the stock markets are dropping 10% region today in many places in the world… so everyone is seeing red.

Anyway, on a more uplifting note, what I did decide to write about is elephant dropping art!!

I have long known about paper made from elephant droppings, in Thailand, but I had forgotten about the artist who uses elephant dung in all his artwork!

First, here are some of his paintings. By Chris Olifi.

no woman no cry

no woman no cry

holy virgin mary

holy virgin mary



For example, this last pieceAfrodizzia, is made 96x 72 inches, is on linen, and is made from paper collage, oil paint, polyester resin, glitter, map pins, and wait for it………………..elephant dung.

Best known for his paintings using elephant dung, Ofili remarked during a radio interview at the Turner Prize award ceremony (about ten years ago), that the important thing was to know whether art was “good art or bad art” and not whether it contained elephant dung. He is, nonetheless, reported to have used this ingredient in all his works so far (almost a guarantee of authenticity), the original smuggled in from Africa, with subsequent needs coming from London’s Zoo and dried in an airing cupboard. He won the Turner prize for his “inventiveness, exuberance, humour and technical richness in painting”.

Another great quote I like is, he says ‘the way I work comes out of experimentation, but it also comes out of a love of painting, a love affair with painting.’ fantastic!

He is a British Born artist of Nigerian origin, and his works are available to buy online and in a few galleries.

So, if you afford it, go buy one.

If you want to have the fun yourself, go do a painting.

And if you don’t know already… for those people who can’t paint but want a personal painting, without the elephant poo (sorry!) then check out my commercial site Portrait Xpress for bespoke art from your photos. Have a good day!

Here are some great art images of Obama. See my previous post ‘why not just a photo‘. What do you think? Yes Im sure these are computer graphic work and not real art (like the hand-painted stuff I prefer to promote) but they still are quite powerful images.

see here for how to convert a photo to a painting.

okay, a couple of paintings today about crashes…. seeing as global stock crashes are ravaging the world this week.

This is painted (this week!) by

Moise Levi Financial & Trading Coach
Brussels, Belgium

its going down down down

its going down down down

This one isn’t really about the stock market (let me know if you know of any good stock market related art!!!) but it is about a CRASH and it does involve A LOT OF MONEY!!!

Green Car Crash

Green Car Crash

This one is by Warhol.

Warhol said “Art is what you can get away with,” and the late, great artist’s paintings are still getting away with a fortune. Sold last year by Christie’s, his painting Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I), from the  Death and Disaster series, this went for $71.7 million dollars. The painting is based on a photograph that appeared in Newsweek magazine from June 3rd, 1963. The photograph depicted the end of a car chase, when a 24-year-old commercial fisherman in Seattle flipped his car, hit a telephone pole, and was ejected from the car forcefully enough to be impaled on, but not immediately killed by, a climbing spike. The mangled car burns in an otherwise mundane residential setting — there’s even a guy crossing the street like it’s nothing special. Seventy-one million for a green-tinted painting of a random photograph, however… that doesn’t happen every day.

For another idea, a PORTRAIT painting of Bernanke might be pretty cool, Portrait Xpress artists can copy any image/PHOTO you send them by hand into a painting- and can do it in any style, eg change below into pop art, put him in a field with US dollars falling from the sky all around him, whatever you like. So you can have cool original art for your flat SO SO easily!!



Have a good weekend!!

Okay, here is a fun video of a labrador puppy being painted (from a photo) by one of the artists at portrait xpress. Enjoy.

okay… Im hooked on the pug theme, here is some more!! Not ‘proper art’ but lets not be so stuffy eh!

Now don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy the soundtrack to the video, 90’s Euro-Pop is great!

See the  first post I wrote about pugs for more sensible  pug news and pug artwork!

Oh, and is it pugnatious or pugnacious, or are both ok? please comment!